If you don’t remember vinyl –here’s a quick lesson: it’s how music used to come before it magically appeared on your laptop, tablet or phone via MP3 after you pressed a ‘download’ button. But it seems old school is coming back to teach the New Kids on the Block (ask your parents) a lesson or two as the spending on vinyl records surpassed that of digital downloads for the first time in 2016.

The number of LPs sold last year, hit the 3.2 million units’ mark, an increase of 53% from 2015. December 2016 also highlighted the resurgence of vinyl as people bought them as Christmas presents – and in a single week £2.4 million worth of actual, physical records, were bought.

The revolution

So, what’s behind this retro revolution? Well, it’s the combination of lots of different things – people who have fond memories of vinyl first time round are getting back into the groove. And those with youth on their side are appreciating the physical ownership of the music they love. It’s also a way of supporting their favourite artist with an actual, collectible, tangible object rather than an easily forgotten download that sits in a theoretical music library. Then there’s the big discussion about which sounds best? Many people think vinyl’s have a raw, energetic sound, where as digital downloads can sometime be tinny and hollow due to being highly compressed (to keep files sizes down) – but that’s all subjective and based on personal preferences obviously.

Calculating those rare purchases

But vinyl isn’t cheap. Some albums sell for upwards of £20 and at the cheaper end of the scale, they’re at least a couple of quid more than a download. For example, Adele’s best-selling album ‘25’ is a mere £8.49 as a download, the vinyl equivalent (which is also sold out) is £17.99 on one music website.

However, those prices pale into bargain bin territory when you look at what some mint condition collectibles fetch – some records by Madonna, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles are valued at thousands of pounds. The most expensive example of vinyl is a 1958 version of The Quarrymen’s ‘That’ll be the Day/In Spite of all the Danger’ which is valued at (are you ready for this) an eye watering £100,000. And if you’re thinking who on earth The Quarrymen are – well, they went on to form The Beatles.

But all is not lost for digital fans; being able to download music is actually one of the reasons attributed to the increase in record sales. It seems that being able to inexpensively explore music has seen people listen to new things and has encouraged them to invest in their new enthusiasm in a collectible way – so it’s a bit of a win-win for old and new.

Keeping the collection protected

Of course, although you can’t accidently delete a real-life record collection, your chart toppers can be stolen or damaged and at between £11.99 and £24.99 a pop – that’s an Our Price-y (remember them) loss. Which is why it’s worth making sure your home contents insurance has enough protection to cover your record collection.

But take care – because if you do have one of those rare collectibles in mint condition, then make sure its value is within your insurance policy’s single item limit (this is typically around £1,500 but can be more or less). If it isn’t, then you’ll need to make sure they’re adequately covered when you get your home insurance quote, so make sure you don’t forget to specify any very expensive records and take note of the value when insurance providers ask you to enter the items individually.

Proof of purchase

It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your proof of purchase, should you need to make a claim and are asked for evidence. This varies by insurance provider, so a good idea would be to keep any digital receipts from the sites you purchased the records from, and even take a photo of yourself holding the vinyl (not the sleeve as this could be printed).

So, if you love your music, treat it well and get insured using our home contents insurance comparison service.

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